New state law mandates collection of DNA samples
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado law enforcement officials will start swabbing every felony suspect for DNA samples under a new state law that took effect. Oct. 1.
Law enforcement officials hope the DNA sampling will help prevent violent crime and assist in solving a number of unsolved crimes in the state. DNA analysis has also been used numerous times in the exoneration of innocent individuals charged with or convicted of crimes.
The law mandates that the “arresting law enforcement agency shall collect the biological substance sample from the arrested person as part of the booking process.”
The new law also applies to convicted felons already serving time in the county jail. Deferred judgment sentences are the exception; however, if the sentence is for a conviction for unlawful sexual behavior, a DNA sample will be collected regardless of the deferred judgment. Those refusing to submit a sample will be considered to have not completed the booking process and will not be eligible for release until a sample is collected.
“All biological substance samples will be collected utilizing Colorado Bureau of Investigation approved DNA Buccal (cheek cell) Swab kits,” said Captain Erik Bourgerie,
Once collected, the DNA sample and fingerprints are linked together with the arrest date through the use of barcodes and submitted to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation laboratory in Grand Junction for testing and inclusion in their database.